Touring tips from a world cruise

This item appears on page 12 of the May 2011 issue.

My husband, Bob, and I took the trip of a lifetime around the world, November 2010-January 2011, by combining two Oceania Cruises voyages. Here are a few helpful hints for others who’d like to circumnavigate the globe.

We found that most of the world accepts US currency. Take lots of one-dollar bills and other small denominations. Bargain; most of the world does.

English truly is spoken — at least a little bit — almost everywhere.

Hiring a taxi is generally a great way to get a tour of an area, but make sure the driver speaks at least some English.

Hop-on/hop-off buses, where available, are also a great way to get an overview of cities visited.

Know in advance what you’d like to see in each place to be visited, then be open to other suggestions.

Cruising is great for its ease of travel. The frustrating part is sometimes you don’t get to spend enough time at one place. An ideal cruise would be one where you travel during the night and spend a couple of days in each port. Among our favorite ports were those where we had two or three days (in Namibia, Seychelles and Burma and at Cape Town).

Before embarking on a cruise, the website is good for connecting with fellow passengers who have similar interests. Like-minded travelers can set up independent small-group tours that can be cheaper and better than the shore excursions offered through the ship.

Seattle, WA